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Artist Spotlight: Bang Camaro

15 Dec, 2008 Musicians

Huge guitar solos, catchy ass choruses, driving hooks, and a live show that will leave your face melted. These are a few reasons why Bang Camaro has become our favorite band of 2008. Toss away the traditional verse-chorus-verse, the anthem rock band from Boston only leaves room for shredding solos and loud, infectious cries from its 10-20 person choir. Founded by guitarists Alex Necochea and Bryn Bennett in 2005, Bang Camaro has just released their second album Bang Camaro II…and yes, it kicks ass. Oh yeah, if the name Bang Camaro sounds familiar, chances are you’ve played their songs on Rock Band, Rock Band 2, and Guitar Hero 2.

Froman: Hi guys. Thanks for the interview. Tell us about your first huge gang bang?

ALEX NECOCHEA: I’ve never taken part in a huge gang bang. I prefer my gang bangs small and manageable. Fewer moving parts.

Froman: You guys are on Rock Band, on Guitar Hero, we’ve seen you on MTV…how come you’re not selling out arenas?

ALEX: What young bands are selling out arenas? Look at the latest trend in summer festivals. They are headlined by legacy bands that have been around for 20 years or more. Where are the newer bands that draw thousands of fans to every show? The music industry isn’t what it used to be. There are great avenues young bands can explore to get their music heard – like online social networking and video games – but there is no surefire method for appealing to a wide audience. The days of MTV, FM radio, and RollingStone magazine are gone. There isn’t a small marketplace music fans can go to discover new music. There are literally thousands of ways to find new bands and sticking out in the crowd is tougher now that there are so many niches to fill.

Froman: We recently saw that Hinder and Theory of a Deadman are opening up for Motley Crue. How come these lame wannabe rock bands are taking your spot?

ALEX: I’ve never heard of either of these bands. Maybe Vince Neil is nervous that we have 12 guys that can do his job better than he can.

Froman: We’ve seen you guys play a number of times. Each time you’ve had three lead guitarists. Last we saw you in Brooklyn you only had two. Is the economy getting to you?

ALEX: Yes. It’s getting tougher to support the number of guys we take on the road so we had to trim the fat somewhere. While that’s true, the real reason we pared down to 2 guitarists is because it was time for Bryn and I to take off the training wheels and get the job done ourselves. We sound better than ever.

Froman: Record companies. Need them or want them?

ALEX: Neither. As I said, the music industry has changed. We’ve been fortunate to have been able to leverage tools like the Internet and video games to get our music out there. We can tour the country, sell merchandise, and pay our bills because we get to keep the money that we make. We’ve seen a number of record deals, and while some would certainly offer us more immediate exposure, we see value in keeping control of our business. After nearly 10 years of watching the industry acclimate to the digital marketplace I am amazed that no one has figured out how to develop new artists and grow small business. Why would any band want to partner with a company in a floundering industry? It doesn’t make good business sense.

Froman: Strangest thing you’ve snorted as a group?

ALEX: Sta-Max pills.

Froman: You guys sometimes pick up singers along the way, tell us about the initiation process.

ALEX: New recruits are required to endure an evening of binge drinking with Doz and Pete and then have to share a bed with them. If they want to wake up alive they should probably keep an eye open.

Froman: Which of your songs would make for a good porn soundtrack?

ALEX: Personally, I have found that they all do pretty well in that regard.

Froman: Since you guys kick so much ass, how come you never play ass kicking covers?

ALEX: Who says we don’t? We’ve been known to pull out a cover from time to time. From “Auld Lang Syne” to Spacehog’s “In The Meantime.” I’m still waiting for the rest of the band to learn that Fugazi song I suggested months ago.

Froman: What’s it like playing your own song on Rock Band?

ALEX: It’s really cool, but I have a hard time convincing anyone in my family that my songs are better than Buckethead.

Froman: Have you ever thought about doing a song in spanish?

ALEX: All the time. I’m Chilean and can shake my ass like Shakira. If she can do it, I can do it.

Froman: If you could open up for any band, who would it be, and why?

ALEX: Bands don’t like it when we open for them. I think the raw energy of 15 people on stage is intimidating. We’re like a Jerry Lee Lewis show except we set fire to the piano every night. That said, I would love to open for Radiohead but I think we would upset their fans. Hell, I’m getting upset just thinking about it.

Froman: Any spinal tap moments?

ALEX: Plenty. There was the time in Madison, WI where we came offstage and found some drunk kid in our green room. He puked all over our stuff and passed out. I don’t think he even came to see Bang Camaro.

Froman: Describe your sex: light some candles or lay down the tarp?

ALEX: A gentleman is prepared for both contingencies.

Froman: How the hell do you all travel together?

ALEX: Booze. It’s the only thing that quiets the demons. And a 15 passenger van.

Froman: The day your band dies, what would you like the epitaph to read?

ALEX: “Bang Camaro. Fuck you, everyone else.”

Froman: Last question…will you guys play at the first big party we throw in NYC?

ALEX: Sure. Will there be tarps or candles?

Bang Camaro @ Maxwells in Hoboken NJ, 12/4/08

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